Sumita Vaid

Hakuhodo Percept wins Rs 6-7 crore Style Spa account

The Style Spa account, which was earlier in the care of RKSwamy/BBDO, was contested by a handful of agencies including O&M India and FCB-Ulka

In the wake of a multi-agency pitch held in Chennai, Hakuhodo Percept has bagged the estimated Rs 6-7 crore advertising duties (both creative and media) of furniture retailer Style Spa, previously known as Gautier India. The account was earlier in the care of RKSwamy/BBDO. The pitch was apparently contested by a handful of agencies including O&M India and FCB-Ulka Advertising, although it is not clear if ex-incumbent BBDO defended the account. Incidentally, this is the second piece of business that has moved out of RKSwamy/BBDO within a week, the first being the creative duties of Cream Bell ice creams in Delhi, which moved to Contract Advertising.

Speaking about the win, Debashis Bose, CEO, Hakuhodo Percept, says animatedly, "Style Spa is an important win for Hakuhodo Percept in Chennai. We set up our Chennai office just three years ago, and have acquired some reputed clients such as Indo National (Nippo batteries), Indo Matsushita, Ajinomoto, Empee Distilleries and CII in the last few years. With this win, our billing for 2004 should take us into the Top 7 agencies in Chennai. This is in line with Hakuhodo's international ranking of being the 7th largest agency in the world."

Style Spa, which has 55 company-owned exclusive showrooms across the country, plans to foray into retailing accessories, extending its offerings to include table lamps, curios, furnishings, bed sheets and pillow covers. In addition to the 55 showrooms, the company has plans of opening Style Spa Boutique Stores in the metros. Given the new brand identity, and the aggressive expansion plans it has chalked out, the communication task for the agency is two-pronged. While on the one hand Hakuhodo Percept will have to extend the brand's identity beyond its former French origin (Gautier India), on the other, it would have to reiterate the leadership position of Style Spa.

Elaborating on the communication strategy, Bose says, "Essentially, it will be to reposition Style Spa as world furniture… And it will also have to re-establish its equity as the market leader and break new ground that will differentiate Style Spa from its numerous clones. In doing so, we will go back to the brand's unique strengths of international standards of quality, innovative styles and unmatched chain of brand shops."

While the media plan is still at the drawing-board stage, the agency has decided that it will adopt the ‘integrated marketing communications approach' to promote the brand. "This would enable Style Spa to multiply the touch-points with prospects and customers," Bose explains. "Hakuhodo has powerful proprietary tools like Brand Cycle Management (BCM), which we share with our sister companies in the Percept IMC group, which has proven expertise in event management, PR, customer lifecycle management and web solutions. All of this can result in greater brand synergies for Style Spa than was earlier possible."

For the record, Hakuhodo Percept, across all offices (Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai, that is) recorded capitalized billing to the tune of Rs 40 crore in 2003. Some of the significant businesses won by the agency last year include Citizen Watches, Ajinomoto, Suzuki, AstraZeneca and KG Denim. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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